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South China Sea clash not armed attack, Philippines needs to ‘do more’ than protest: Marcos

“We have filed over a hundred protests, we have already made a similar number of démarche,” Marcos told reporters. “We have to do more than just that.”

No shots were fired on June 17, so the actions by the China coastguard could not be considered an armed attack, but it was a “deliberate action to stop our people” from resupplying troops stationed at the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, Marcos said.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Marcos’ remarks on Thursday.

The United States, which has condemned China’s actions, reaffirmed its ironclad commitment to the Philippines during a call between Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday.

“The two officials discussed the importance of preserving the rights of all nations to fly, sail, and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law allows,” the Pentagon said in a readout.

The Philippines has not asked the US for support in resupplying its troops, its Washington ambassador said on Wednesday, adding that the US was providing only “visuals” to aid his country.


Chinese and Philippine ships clash in first incident under Beijing’s new coast guard law

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Philippines had sought a meeting with Chinese officials to lower tensions, not resolve territorial claims, and hoped it would occur “maybe early next month”.

Romualdez said that if the Philippines was not able to resupply its troops, it would amount to “killing our soldiers” through starvation and thirst.

“I don’t think China wants to have a major conflict. And definitely we do not want to have one. And so, that’s a good starting point,” he said.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including